Green Tea and the Model Room

We’ve been thinking of moving to a bigger flat for a while now, so last Thursday we spent the ENTIRE day in an estate agents looking at model rooms and looking at architects plans, drinking copious amounts of green tea.

We’ve already seen a couple of model rooms but they are always the largest possible size (or are completely faked, for example one bedroom is knocked through to the lounge to make it look really big), but we found one in Fukae (the next stop on the train line) that was the size we were looking for, 3LDK – this equates basically to a 3 bedroom flat, the LDK stands for Lounge/Dining Room/Kitchen combined into one room. Our current place is 1LDK.

We turned up, hoping to just look at the place but of course the agent wanted to talk to us for an hour or so and fill in many forms. It was all in Japanese and I could get maybe 40% of it, so it wasn’t too bad (all though 6 hours later, that had dropped to about 20%!).

We were given lots of green tea too.

Eventually we could see the flat and it was very nice, good size rooms, and new modern features and gadgets.
Things were looking good.

So after some lunch in Dennys, we went back to the agent and he took us to 2 more model rooms just to have a look (we tend to buy “2nd hand houses” in England, and these Japanese flats are very different, so I wanted to see as many examples of these flats as possible before making my mind up).

Then back to the office for more green tea, more documents and more decision making. We’d seen another place the week before in Ashiya so were torn between the two. (Both roughly the same price, but the Ashiya “brand” is equivalent to say, Beverly Hills, Roppongi Hills or Hampstead, whereas Fukae is full of pachinko parlours and more like Ueno or Mile End)…so…after much deliberation on Friday and Saturday we decided on…Ashiya.

Aki went to the Ashiya agents yesterday and signed some contracts! Scary, exciting stuff.

It’s an interesting system they have here. These apartments are still being built, and they sell the flats (beautifully called “Mansions” in Japanese English) in batches, so we had a choice of about 5, with another 3 possibilities coming up on the next batch. But if 2 or more people go for the same property, instead of a bidding war as in England, the price is fixed and it’s a lottery to decide who gets it! Some of the mansions are first come first served. We went for our 2nd choice (which was a lottery decision and slightly blocked view), for a higher up first come first served option. So we now, minus any future complications, have a new mansion, and can move in 31st July!

It also has a Japanese style tatami room, which is going to be my hobby room (so I can fill it with all my crap, and keep it out of the way of Aki). 🙂

Exciting and poor times are ahead.


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